In a small town in Alabama, is where the 2020 Savoir Faire Model Search Winner, Tonya Higgins is from. This bubbly and adventurous 28-year-old fought hard to win her way to NYC and onto the cover of Savoir Faire Magazine by taking down our 2020 Model Search Contest.
Her adventure started on September 5th when Tonya expanded her wings and traveled by herself for the first time, an amazing accomplishment, on top of winning the contest.
Her arrival in NYC landed her at JFK where she would then take a short ride to the center of Manhattan and meet our Editor-In-Chief, Robert White at the front door of the ROW NYC. The ROW NYC is directly located minutes away from everything Central Manhattan has to offer and is the perfect hotel for anyone that plans to explore the city.
Night one was filled with excitement and positive energy so Tonya, was escorted only a few blocks away to view an iconic location in New York City, Time Square! This spot would not only be a shoot location but absolutely is the spot where anyone can stand and admire the big lights of New York City. The Video Screens, the New year’s Ball, The Iconic Red bleachers are just a few of the things that can bring people to life when they enter the square.
Day one in the city was the start of Shooting. A team lead by Photographer Udor Rothenko the owner of Udor Photography, The Amazing skills of professional makeup artist "Picasso" and professional hairstylist Sharon Alexander the owner of Done by Beauty, where the dream team that turned Ms. Higgins from Southern Belle to Savoir Faire Cover Model!
The Shoot took her from New York Cities Icon Time Square, to Bryant Park, The New York Subway as well as The Streets of New York City with the Iconic Empire State building dominating the sky in the background.
Here is Tonya’s Interview from the pages of Savoir Faire, Issue 14 and some never-before-seen images that didn’t make it into the magazine, but we had to share them here!
At what age did you realized you wanted to be a part of this industry and what did you do to move towards that goal? I was 18 years old when I realized I wanted to be a model. I loved the creativity and the freedom to express my style
Was there someone in the industry that influenced your decision to become a model? My mother put me in modeling classes when I was eleven. When I turned 18, I started building my comp card and pursuing photographers to shoot with.
What were some of your favorite childhood activities or hobbies? When I was a child, I loved to dance and pageants. I competed in pageants that my mom would enter me into. I won a title when I was fourteen.
Can you tell us a unique story from your childhood that shaped who you are today? Ultimately it was the passing of my grandfather who was the father figure in my life that really pushed me to be the independent and strong woman I am today.
What is your favorite childhood memory? My grandfather had horses and he and I both had our own. My horse’s name was ema. I would ride her often and learned about horseback riding and raising her from my grandfather.
Who is your biggest supporter and why? My mom is my biggest supporter, as a single parent she taught me everything I needed to know to be the strong woman I am today. Her struggles and successes were the lessons I needed to be who I am today.
When you’re not working, how do you spend your free time? My free time Is minimal but when I am free, I love to spend my free time with my family and friends. It’s important to have those relationships and I cherish them.
What are your thoughts on social media? Does this help or hurt society? I think we are growing up in a generation where social media is all they know. It is allowing people to connect and grow who they are. I think it helps society by expending our reach to meet new people and connect.
What is one of your most favorite inspirational quotes? I don’t really have a favorite quote. There are lots that inspire me to be a better person.
What are your five- and 10-year goals? I would love to keep educating myself and expense my knowledge about the salon and styling industries. I’d also like to get married in the next 5 years. In the next 10 years I would like to have my own home, have a strong personal stability and to provide for my family when they are in need.
Name three things on your bucket list. I want to ride in a hot air balloon, I want to go sky diving, and go Suba diving!
What health and beauty tips do you swear by? Drink lots of water, daily and keep your self-hydrated.
What is the first thing you think of in the morning? The first thing I think about in the morning is my coffee ha-ha
Want to learn more about Tonya Higgins and what she said to us about Relationships? Her Career? And What confidence means to her? Check out the latest issue of Savoir Faire in The Vault!